Andrea Campbell elected Attorney General of Massachusetts

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BOSTON (AP) — Democrat Andrea Campbell has become the first black woman in Massachusetts history to be elected attorney general.

The former Boston city councilman, who ran unsuccessfully for mayor last year, defeated Republican candidate and lawyer Jay McMahon. Campbell becomes the third woman to hold the seat in Massachusetts.

Campbell had won the endorsement of Attorney General Maura Healey, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate, as well as four former state attorneys general, U.S. Senator Edward Markey and U.S. Representative Ayanna Pressley.

During her victory speech, Campbell cited her faith and family background, including her twin brother Andre, who died in state custody.

“He and many of you have given me the courage to keep moving forward to turn pain into purpose and my god has given me the power to make it happen,” she told her gathered supporters in a hotel in downtown Boston.

Campbell also ticked off a range of issues she said she planned to address, including from targeting wage theft and standing up for the elderly to protecting tenants and landlords, pushing for what she called for common sense gun laws and supporting anti-violence organizations.

“For those who have felt invisible, this victory is for you. For those who have felt marginalized, this victory is for you. For those who have felt left behind, left behind and undervalued, this victory is for you,” she said.

Campbell has spoken openly about her father and brothers’ involvement in the criminal justice system.

The 40-year-old credited Boston’s public education system for helping place her in schools that opened doors for her to success when her brother’s schools had few resources. She also said that as a girl she was less likely to be racially profiled by the criminal justice system.

Campbell grew up in Boston and attended Princeton University and UCLA Law School and served as deputy legal counsel to former Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick.

During the campaign, Campbell said she would “look at every issue through an equity lens.” She said Massachusetts residents do not all have the same access to affordable health care or housing, and are not all impacted in the same way by the criminal justice system, crime or the climate crisis.

She added that communities of color are “disproportionately policed ​​and incarcerated” and that the contrast in school funding and quality — when disaggregated by income, race and region — is stark.

McMahon, who said during the campaign that Campbell would be lenient on crime, had also pointed to personal tragedy as the motivation for running for attorney general. McMahon, 68, said his son Joel, an Army veteran, died in 2008 from an opioid overdose.

He said the loss is the reason he sued the office.

Steve LeBlanc, Associated Press

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